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Headmen 'won’t cause trouble' despite opposing draft law, says association chief

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Association of Headmen president Yongyos Kaewkhiew said on Tuesday that his members would not stage a demonstration even though they would be negatively affected by a new draft law that would reduce their term in office to five years.

Sub-district and village headmen would not do anything to cause trouble or threaten security, despite strongly disagreeing with some of the bill’s provisions, he said, adding that it had been written arbitrarily.
Moreover, the legislation should not have retroactive effect, especially when it impacted the association or its members, he said.
However, now that the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) has already passed the draft law to the Cabinet, the headmen had to accept the decision, Yongyos added.
Seri Suwanpanon, head of the NRSA’s political reform committee, said on Tuesday that the panel now had seven days to revise the draft law in line with the NRSA’s advice given on Monday.
The revised bill would then be forwarded to the Cabinet for further consideration.
Seri said there was no specific timeframe for how long the Cabinet would take, but opinion hearings could be expected, as required by the new Constitution.
He added that the legislation was advantageous for people as a whole, as it required the election of headmen.
Seri said citizens would be able to vote for the candidate they thought could best serve them as head of their local community.
Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, president of the National Legislative Assembly, said that if and when the Cabinet approved the draft law, it would then be submitted to the NLA.
However, there have been several bills and proposals from the NRSA in the past that the Cabinet did not approve and which therefore never reached the NLA, he said.
The headmen have the right to voice their opinions regarding the bill if they disagree with it, he stressed.

Published : April 11, 2017

By : The Nation